20th November, 2018 - Tonga, a Small Island Developing State in the Asia-Pacific region, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Despite having a huge potential for renewable energy, particularly from solar and wind, several technical and financial barriers have constrained the uptake of renewable energy in the country, resulting to a reliance on fossil fuels for more than 70% of electricity generation in 2018.
To enable Tonga’s shift from fossil fuel-based energy generation and achieve its NDC targets of generating half of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 70% by 2030, the GCF Board approved the Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) in its 21st meeting held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain from 17-20 October 2018. The project, cofinanced with the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Australia, requested for USD 29.9 million in GCF resources.
The project will help install utility scale energy storage systems to facilitate the integration of variable renewable energy to Tonga’s power grid. By stabilising the grid and enabling absorption of more renewables through large scale storage systems, Tonga will be ready to unlock further private sector investments to support its energy transition through viable IPPs. The project will further support the installation of grid-connected solar PV plants, the installation of various renewable-based mini-grid systems on the outer islands as well as capacity building for Operation and Maintenance of the assets.
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